"Why can't I stop thinking about those kids?" Lina wondered as the three slayers rode through through the palace gates. It had been barely three days since they had left, as the sun had started to set, and already something had gone wrong. Lina sighed, "Those kids were eerie, it's true, but I'll probably never see them again. No use wondering about unseen milk in the carpets. It might not even be there."
Gourry was looking at Lina as he got off his horse. Worriedly, he asked, "Are you okay Lina?"
She got pushed out of her reflections. "Huh?"
"For the past couple of weeks you've been almost constantly distracted. You haven't even gotten off your horse yet to go eat."
Zelgadis smirked. "Unusually observant, Gourry."
Lina blushed a little, but waved away Gourry's concerns. "Oh, I'm fine Gourry. Just thinking about stuff. Things have been moving pretty fast since we got that letter from stone-boy here, and I've had to cram all of my thoughts into a pretty short period of time."
Gourry didn't look convinced. "Are you sure..."
Lina vaulted off her horse to realize she had cramps. "You worry too much Gourry (oh, the pain...). I'm not sick or anything, just busy (damn rider's cramp)." She walked rather bowleggedly away. "Damn it, why do horses have to be so big? I feel like I've been on an elephant, not a little gelding who's barely bigger than a pony."
Zelgadis watched the sorceress in amusement. "A little sore, Lina?"
"Zel, lay off."
Valterin lay in bed that night, worrying about the thoughts that had recently been popping up in his head. The thoughts didn't seemed to be his. It was as if someone had been speaking in his ear, giving him information. Something about three gods... Val sighed, and closed his eyes. It wasn't worth worrying about something he couldn't change. Val's breathing slowed as he drifted off.
"Stupid cramps," Lina thought grumpily as she rolled over. The bed was almost too comfortable, but she kept on thinking about obscure things that had absolutely no relevance to anything, so couldn't sleep. Her head was filled with voices, spirits that were nothing like her own. Lina frowned. Were the voices in her head now singing a lullaby? "Strange, but oddly soothing," Lina thought sleepily as dreams began to appear.
Xellos sat on top of the pinnacle of the Seyruun Palace, deeply troubled. The whispers of something not human, demon, or dragon had seemed to join his thought process. He had been constantly distracted, and over the last couple of weeks Xellos had given out more information than he ought. It was totally out of character for him, and disturbing as well, especially since it was literally impossible for anyone to read his mind. Well, anyone except Zelas that is. But then again, she always did say that looking into his head was like looking into chaos. Nothing made any sense. Xellos himself disagreed, of course. His brain might not work in patterns, but that was the way he liked it.
Xellos yawned, then sat bolt upright and shot open his eyes. Since when did mazoku yawn? He tried to stifle the next yawn, but couldn't. His eyes closed, but not voluntarily. The demon's last thought before his first sleep in over one thousand years was, "Someone very powerful is going to a lot of trouble for me..."
"Hello?" Lina asked the darkness. "No one is here," she murmered. "Must be a dream. And that means pain will make me wake up." She pinched herself, not really expecting to feel it. The sorceress got a surprise. "OW! Must not be a dream after all." She rubbed her arm and winced.
"Miss Lina, do you know where we are?" Lina whirled around, to see... Val. But this was no kid Val. This was a Valterin around thirteen or fourteen.
"Val! Why do you look so old?"
"This is a dream, Lina." Lina spun around again.
This time it was Xellos, looking exactly as he did in reality. "Lina, in dreams, people look as they see themselves. Val obviously pictures himself as much older than four." The mazoku examined Lina. "My sorceress, I do not remember you as quite so... busty. Or ravishing, for that matter."
Lina opened her mouth to protest, than glanced down at herself. She closed her mouth, realizing the priest was correct. But something occured to her. "Xellos, is it just me, or do you sound a little more... blunt?"
"Blunt? Lina, I never knew you had a stuttering problem. Maybe that's why you and Gourry make a good couple. You think on the same level."
Lina's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Xellos! How da..."
"Lina, you really shouldn't squint. It's unattractive."
Lina was getting angry, but at the same time confused. Since when did Xellos openly insult her? Val broke the silence that followed. "Xellos, Miss Lina and I look different, but you don't. Why is that?"
"Well young Val, I'm a monster. I form myself as I please. Isn't it safe to assume that I make myself as what I picture I am?"
Lina held up a hand. "Hold it, hold it. Xellos, what's going on? Why did you answer Val's question? And are you even the real Xellos? Because in reality, you wouldn't have responded. You would have have opened one eye, wiggled a finger, and said in a cheery voice, 'that is a secret!' You must be a figment of my imagination."
"He is not," said a voice that seemed to come from no where. Lina looked suspicious. "Okay, what's going on? Who are you?"
Xellos looked exasperated. "Lina, even with your inadequate human mind you should be able to figure that out. This is a dream, a nightmare. Now think very carefully. There is only one being in all four worlds that could penetrate our dreams, or cause us to dream in the first place."
Lina clenched her jaw. "Xellos, you pathetic demon. Don't you DARE patronize me! I have a good mind to..."
"Do not get angry. He cannot help it."
"Why not, O Lord of Nightmares?"
"In dreams, you are as you see yourself in reality, much as demons are. In dreams, you do not think, you say. You are in Xellos's mind, and he is in your's. Valteirra is connected as well. You and Valteirra say your minds in reality, but Xellos does not. Therefore, you and the dragon look different, but sound the same, while Xellos looks the same, but acts differently."
A predatory smile crossed Lina's face. "Okay Xellos, who is your superior?"
"Beastlord Zelas Metallium." Realizing what he just said, the mazoku was aghast. "Oh shit, oh shit. Damn it, I am totally screwed." Xellos put his head in his hands, then decided to get revenge. "Lina, what is the one thing in the world you would rather die than do?"
"Having to visit my sister again," Lina replied, then began to swear. "@#$%^&*! Great, now Xellos will send me to my sister to get back at me."
Xellos ignored Lina for the moment, and addressed the sky. "Mother, why did you address Val here as Valteirra?"
"That is his real name." Lina and Xellos turned questioning to the young dragon. Val looked embarressed. "Well, my original ancienct dragon's name was Valteirra, as my mom found out while looking through an old book titled "The Dragons of Old." When I was three, she started calling me Valteirra instead of Val. I thought Valteirra sounded like a girl's name, so I asked my mom to change it. She agreed, and switched Valteirra with Valterin, which I thought sounded better."
Lina stared. Xellos burst out laughing. He gasped, "You traded your ancient dragon's name for a less girlish one because you thought it sounded feminine? Val, your name proves you to be an ancient dragon. All the ancient dragons' former allies will assist you if they know you name. I suggest you change it back."
Lina pinched herself again, and for the second time had no success in waking herself up. "Okay, if this is a dream, why can't I wake up?"
"I have something to tell you."
"There are three gods called the Tri Anzi. Their power is only second to mine, and any one of them can destroy the world with a mere thought. One has the power over darkness, one over light, and the third has power over chaos. If the three banded together, they could destroy me. In fact, they are already together."
Lina was skeptical. "Than why aren't you dead?"
"They are together, but only chaos has started to realize the potential inside, and yet is only at the beginning. The other two haven't a clue."
"So why don't you kill them?"
"I can't. If I attack them, the Tri Anzi will discover their power, and will have no qualms about killing me. Only one being can stop the three from their unknown desire to destroy me and take my place as rulers of the universe."
Xellos was starting to become interested in the conversation. "Mother, who is this being? He must be very powerful."
"He is, but power isn't a factor. No one can stand up to the Tri Anzi. This being will someone connect the three in a way that will totally eliminate the possiblity of the Tri Anzi uniting to destroy me, or seperating and starting a war that could destroy the four worlds."
Lina was starting to get impatient. "So who is it already?"
A silence fell over Valteirra, Xellos, and Lina. Well, for about ten seconds. "Are you out of your mind?" Lina exploded.
Xellos was more thoughtful. "Think of the chaos that would spread..."
Val was just startled. "Isn't Shabranigdo the number one evil guy? How can he be the deciding factor?"
"Wait a minute, wait a minute." Lina was starting to go into cool calculating mode. "Shabranigdo was split into seven parts, and two of them were destroyed. If Shabranigdo is needed, is all of him needed?"
"Yes, but don't worry. Shabranigdo's two destroyed parts were reconstructed right after they were eliminated. A balance must be kept, and Ruby-Eye is half the scale in this world."
"So what's that got to do with us?"
"There are fourteen destined ones who are needed to resurrect Shabranigdo, two for each piece. You three, the princess, the chimaera, the swordsman, and the dragon are half of the destined ones. For you to resurrect Shabranigdo, you need to find the other seven."
"How are we supposed to idenify them?" Val asked curiously.
"You will know when you see them, but the quest of resurrection cannot start until the fourteen are together."
Lina was getting irked. "What makes you think we'll do this anyway? I'm tired of the saving the world. For once I want compensation!"
The very darkness seemed to smile. "Lina Inverse, the reward you will get when the quest is complete is greater than anything you could ever imagine."
Val, Lina, and Xellos woke up simultaneously. Val ran towards Lina's room, Xellos teleported to Lina's room, and Lina just sat there, wondering how much money she would get if that nightmare hadn't only been a dream. Xellos reached her first. His face practically glowed. "Lina, if what mother says is true, we have to leave! Just finding the other seven destined is a momentous task."
Val rushed into the bedroom, panting heavily. "Miss Lina pant we have to pant wake up mother gasp so we can go!"
Lina held up her hands for silence. Val stopped babbling. "Look, Xellos, Val, think about it. It's the middle of the night, everyone's tired, and no one is going on a quest to rescue a Dark Lord until I'm rested and full."
Fortunately, Xellos knew how to push the sorceress's buttons. "But Lina, think about the reward. With the millions mother is sure to give you, you could buy a city, and have all the inhabitants serve you. Think of all the cooks..."
Xellos got no further, because at that point Lina was already running out the door, with Valteirra and Xellos being pulled along behind her. "Who cares about food? I have some money to make! GOURRY! AMELIA! FILIA! HEY ZEL, WAKE UP! IT'S TIME TO GO ON A QUEST!"
Sheela watched in the shadows as the seven destined ones rode out of the Seyruun palace in the dead of night. The dragon, the princess, the chimaera, and the swordsman were all yawning, obviously woken up and forced out the door in a matter of seconds. What confused Sheela was the fact the Xellos, Lina Inverse, and the baby dragon were as awake as if it was the middle of the day. Sheela frowned. Though Xellos had never been alone long enough for her to approach him, she have to return to Lord Dynast. This was far too odd to not leave reported. What disturbed Sheela most of all was the feeling she had that, normally, she would have never thought to bother her lord on such a trivial matter. The feeling disappeared she shook her head. Lord Dynast was concerned with all that Lina Inverse did. It was right to tell him. At least that's what Sheela told herself as she shifted.
The unthinkable had happened. Luna Inverse, the knight of Cephied, dropped a plate. Normally, this would not be unusual for one of her position. Part time waitresses were always dropping plates. But she was Luna Inverse, and agility was one of her most starling attributes. The feeling she had though... it was as if someone was calling to her. Luna abruptly made a decision. "Chief, I have to take a vacation."
Her manager was startled. Luna Inverse had never taken a vacation before. "Why, Miss Inverse?"
"I have to go to Sairaag."
"Miss Lina, why are we leaving so early in the morning?" Amelia asked sleepily.
"Simple. The earlier we left, the earlier I could get my pay."
Zelgadis growled, "Lina, since when do you get job offers at one o' clock in the morning?"
Xellos smiled cheerfully. "Well Zelgadis, that's the only time that mother can reach us." Zelgadis, Amelia, and Filia stared at the mazoku. Gourry would have too, but he was asleep on his horse, snoring softly.
"Mister Xellos, you have a mother?!" Amelia was surprised. No, that's an understatement. Amelia was staring at Xellos with her jaw almost hitting the ground, and since she wasn't looking at the road, the princess suddenly met the acquaintance of a tree. I don't know how this is possible (she was on a horse, after all), but Amelia is always inventing different ways to be clumsy, so it's to be expected.
While Amelia lay lying on the ground, twitching slightly, Zelgadis asked Xellos the question that Amelia had been meaning to ask, "Xellos, whose mother?"
"Well..." the mazoku closed one eye and pointed a finger in the air, "that is a secret!"
Again, another impossible thing happened. The whole Slayers group (well, except Gourry, who was asleep, Amelia, who was already on the ground, and Val, who had sort of expected it), facefaulted right off their horses. Lina got up first. "Xellos, what kind of fruitcake answer is that?!"
"The kind Xellos always gives," Val answered for the trickster priest.
Lina was surprised at herself. "I should have expected Xellos to say that. Why didn't I? Maybe it's because Xellos has been so open lately." Lina shook her head to clear it. "Xellos, you're crazy."
"I neither confirm or deny that."
"Anyway... Xellos was talking about the mother of all things, the Lord of Nightmares. She wants us to collect the fourteen destined ones, seven of which are already here. She needs the fourteen to get the seven pieces of Shabranigdo and resurrect him, so he can stop the Tri Anzi, who are the head gods of light, chaos, and darkness, from destroying the four worlds in a power struggle, or uniting to destroy the Lord of Nightmares. What?" asked Lina, irritated. Everyone was staring at her.
Zelgadis sighed. "Nevermind Lina. How do we find the other seven destined ones?"
"I have no idea."
"I do!" Xellos proclaimed. He held up a scroll. "This gives a brief description of the other seven destined ones."
"Namagomi, where'd you get that?"
"I found it in my big book of information."
"Oh." Lina snatched the scroll out of Xellos's hand. "Let me see that." She read off the scroll. "1. Resurrected child of darkness, 2. Another resurrected child of darkness, 3. A resurrected child of light, 4. A resurrected holy man, 5. A resurrected shadow, 6. A paladin of fiery temper, and 7. A lord of cold and ice. Well, that doesn't help us much," Lina grumbled.
Zelgadis pointed to the bottem line. "Lina, you missed a line."
"Fine, fine. Hmmm... you will find six in a ruined city, but the seventh will only come when you invoke his name. Ruined city..."
Everyone realized at once what city the scroll was talking about. "Sairaag!"
"Sheela, what are you doing back here? You have not yet told Xellos about the conference."
"Lord Dynast, the seven in question have gone on a quest."
"So? They go on quests every day. It's hardly unusual."
"Lord, they did it at three o' clock in the morning. And I sensed something important about this quest. It feels more important then the Darkstar fiasco."
"How can that be? Two worlds were at stake. Unless..." the dark lord narrowed his eyes. "Unless this has something to do with the Tri Anzi."
"I feel it must, Lord Dynast."
"I will observe this personally. Forget the conference. I can live with Zelas's animosity. No one can live when gods war."
Chapter 6 | Fanfiction